Friday, October 12, 2012

Route 66 - Day 18 - Edmond, OK to Hinton, OK

Route 66 - Part 1
Day 18 - Edmond, OK to Hinton, OK

69.3 Actual Miles / 2626 Actual Elevation via OKC Memorial

Option 1 - Straight to Hotel

 Option 2 - To Hotel via OKC Memorial 
Oklahoma City

            Oklahoma City is now tragically synonymous with the terrorist bombing carried out by Timothy McVeigh on April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City has long been one of the primary stops along the Mother Road. In the Bobby Troup song, it is the only place along the route he singled out for praise (“Oklahoma City is mighty pretty”) The city was the biggest boomtown of the 1889 Land Rush, when Oklahoma was opened for white settlement. Between noon and sundown on April 22, 1889, over 10,000 people raced here to claim the new lands, many of them having illegally camped out beforehand, earning the nickname “Sooners.”
            Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Memorial Park. – NW 5th and Robinson - The bombing site has been preserved, landscaped with a shallow pool around which are arrayed a series of 168 sculpted chairs. Each chair represents a person killed in the blast and the chairs range from very small to full-sized, marking the varying ages of the dead which included 19 kids from the building’s day-care center. The adjacent museum [405-235-3313] tells the story of the bombing, its perpetrators, and its victims.
Oklahoma Museum of History - 2100 Lincoln Boulevard [405-521-2491] Has exhibits tracing the state’s history, with special collections on the Native American presence, on pioneers, and on the oil industry. There is also a wide-ranging oral history of the Mother Road.
Oklahoma County Line - 1226 NE 63rd Street [405-478-4955] Old Route 66 landmark, originally named the Kentucky Club speakeasy and roadhouse, it is an upscale barbecue restaurant.
Ann’s Chicken Fry House - 4106 NW 39th Street [405-943-8915] Classic Caddies and fake police cars in the parking lot.
Townley Milk Bottle Building - 2426 NW Classen Avenue.  A small wedge shaped building on an older highway alignment that has an oversized replica of a milk bottle on the roof. The building has housed many types of businesses over the years, and the eye-catching milk bottle has been painted with different logos over its lifespan.  Bahn Mi Ba Le [405-478-2250] inside the building serves Vietnamese food. Oklahoma City is home to more than 10,00 Vietnamese Americans.
66th Bowl - A bowling Alley on the west side of town (39th Expressway) with a 1950s-era sign by the highway.
            Britton - A community--now buried within the Oklahoma City limits--that was at one time on an alternate alignment of Route 66 (ALT 66) and distinguished by the presence of the Owl Courts Motel. The Britton district is reached by turning west onto Britton Road in northern OKC and then south on Western or May Avenue. This alignment was designed to bypass downtown traffic congestion, and it rejoins the primary alignment at 23rd Street, west of the Capitol.
            Chicken-in-the-Rough - A franchise food business begun in the 1930s by Beverly Osborne and his wife, Rubye. Rather than furnish utensils, diners were encouraged to eat their chicken meals with their fingers, much as they would do at home, which was innovative for the time. The Osbornes' original restaurant was on Route 66 in Oklahoma City. The idea for the name came from a chance occurrence when the Osbornes were trying to eat a chicken lunch in a moving car; when an abrupt bump caused their meal to scatter, Mrs. Osborne groused that it was "chicken in the rough."
            Lake Overholser - A man-made body of water just west of Oklahoma City, OK, and named for one of the city's mayors, Ed Overholser. Back in 1941 this lake was the first and only body of water in Oklahoma to be officially designated as a seaplane base. Pan American Airways’ graceful Clippers were all the rage and transcontinental seaplane travel was considered to be the next major development in air travel. By the end of WII the seaplane era was declared over and Lake Overholser’s hopes faded with the times.
            Route 66 Themed Park – W. Overholser Rd – has an 8-state walk info signs, and a statue of Andy Payne (Winner of the Bunion Derby)
            Owl Court - A small motel court that is located on Route 66's "belt line" route through the city. The area where the Owl Court is located--now buried in suburban Oklahoma City--was once the town of Britton.
            Wiley Post - World famous aviator who perished with Will Rogers in a plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska, in 1935. He was a highly accomplished flier, and completed the first successful solo flight around the world in 1933. He is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery on the northern outskirts of Oklahoma City.
Tower Theater Marquee – 425 Northwest 23rd Street -- neon-lit, fully restored.
            John’s Western Trails Trading Post – 9100 N. Western [405-842-8306] – Full of vintage collectibles.
            National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum – 1700 NE 63rd – honors the real “old west.”

Southern Christian University – Giant Metal Globe
Western Motel – Great neon sign 

            Marks the transition from Midwest to West. From here farms give way to ranches, the drawls you hear will become more pronounced and the West we recognize from movies begins.
Singer Garth Brooks and actor Dale Robertson both hail from Yukon
            Yukon Motel - A motel that once had a tall, impressive neon sign out front dating from the late 1950s. Inexplicably, although it still operates as a motel, a change in ownership in 2001 resulted in the sign's being taken down and replaced with something utterly nondescript and without character.
Yukon's Best - A brand of flour with headquarters in Yukon, OK; the company name is emblazoned on a set of grain elevators alongside Route 66 in the center of town. The city of Yukon bills itself as the "Czech Capital of Oklahoma.
Yukon’s Best Railroad Museum - Housed like a hobo in old boxcars.
Chisholm Trail (Yukon to El Reno vicinity, OK) - A cattle trail named for Jesse Chisholm, who helped established and popularize it. It crosses paths with Route 66 in Oklahoma, in the Yukon-to-El Reno vicinity. The trail, which looms large in the history and lore of America's Old West, ran from southern Texas to Abeline, Kansas, through the corridor now occupied by I-35 and US 81. There are Chisholm Trail museums both to the north and south of 66 in the towns of Kingfisher and Duncan, respectively. Jesse Chisholm's final resting place is north of the Route 66 town of Geary, OK, at a site called Left Hand Springs Camp.
Chisholm Trail Wall Mural – 4th and Main -
   Chisholm Trail Historical Marker – 2200 S. Holly
“Watch Your Curves! East More Beef” – Rusty metal sign with a leering cowpoke

El Reno
            "Amarillo's Finest" - Phrase appended to the sign for the Big 8 Motel in El Reno, OK, for its use in the filming of the 1988 feature film Rain Man. Room 117 is set-dressed just as it was in the film. In fact, El Reno is approximately 250 miles east of Amarillo, TX. The motel has since been demolished.

           Fort Reno - A former army installation west of El Reno, OK, known for its rearing of horses for the US Army during the pre-mechanized era. Some of the ruins of Fort Reno are open for touring and there is a cemetery that holds the remains of several WWII prisoners of war.

            Robert’s - 300 S. Bickford Street [405-262-1262] The oldest burger joint in El Reno, has been cooking since 1926.
Sid’s Diner - 300 S. Choctaw Street [405-262-7757] - and a picture of their famous onion burger
Johnnie’s Grill - 301 S. Rock Island [405-262-4721] famed for its Fried Onion Burgers.
            El Reno gets together on the 1st weekend in May to cook of the “World’s Largest Hamburger,” a 750-pound behemoth that inspires an all-day festival.
Canadian County Historical Museum and Heritage Park – 300 S. Grand – The museum features a replica 1890s town.

Fort Reno


            BPOE Lodge – 415 S. Rock Island – This building was once part of an Oklahoma territorial exhibit (Oklahoma was not yet a state) at the St. Louis Exposition of 1904—the fair that introduced hot dogs and ice cream to the world. When the exhibit closed, the building was disassembled and brought to El Reno as a permanent structure.
Pony Truss Bridge – The bridge’s span over the South Canadian River is almost 4,000 feet, with no fewer than 38 spans, and the deck was opened to traffic in 1933. It is also one of the landmarks in John Ford’s 1940 film The Grapes of Wrath. Why so many spans? Each of these spans is as large as the highway department’s early equipment could lift into place.

Kobel’s Place – Ruin with red, peeling paint
Canute – a ghost town in the making. If you are a cemeterian, there is Holy Family Cemetery with a grotto, built in 1928 and well kept.

            Hinton Junction - A highway interchange just east of Bridgeport, OK, that signals a turnoff for the town of Hinton via US 281. There is a ruinous cafe at the site that locals say once functioned as a bus station.

The Hinton Telephone Company is still in business and the only company that sends a check to the Hinton Historical Museum every month!
 A mural on a building in downtown Hinton
The Phantom Canyon Ranch Sign in downtown Hinton

I had this same 1960s Sears 26" Girls Bicycle when I was a kid. Pretty disturbing to find it in the museum. To think that we used to ride up and down Chestnut and Harrison Street hills without blinking an eye...nowI won't consider riding up a hill without a granny gear!

This is the same car that Clyde Barrow used to evade law enforcement during his heyday. He even wrote a letter to Ford praising it!
Barbed Wire with spurs

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